New Artists

The New Artists movement of the early 1980s – Timur Novikov, Ivan Sotnikov, Inal Savchenkov, Vadim Ovchinnikov, Sergei Bugayev (Africa), Oleg Maslov and Oleg Zaika – was based on various different sources. These include the classical avant-garde (the Neo-Primitive traditions of Mikhail Larionov, mass art as understood by Vladimir Mayakovsky and the montage theories of Leo Kuleshov), American Pop Art and graffitism. The New Artists were one of the most radical groups of the 1980s. Like their legendary predecessors, they overcame the genre and situational framework of the existence of art. They literally took “art into life” by painting the walls of abandoned houses, releasing manuscript books, collaborating with Russian rock group Kino and Sergei Kuryokhin’s Pop Mechanics, staging theatrical performances and starring in films.

The Bridge and Airport textile collages by the leader of the New Artists, Timur Novikov, implement the artist’s own version of the theory of montage, which he called the “recomposition method”. The Neo-Expressionist line is represented by Oleg Kotelnikov, Inal Savchenkov and Ivan Sotnikov. Oleg Maslov’s Chelyuskin Crew Members series and Georgy Guryanov’s images of sportsmen rooted in Soviet mythology reflect the attempts of this generation of artists to move on from the Soviet/nonconformist confrontation, which had by that time largely grown irrelevant.

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